President Trump called out members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for relying on U.S. defense while hiking the price of oil, in an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
“OPEC and OPEC nations are, as usual, ripping off the rest of the world and I don’t like it, nobody should like it,” he said. “We want them to stop raising prices … and they must contribute … to military protection.”
The sentiment echoed a tweet the president sent out last week calling on “the monopoly” to lower prices ahead of a meeting of the 15-member oil cartel.
Oil prices hit a four-year high on Tuesday after the OPEC meeting over the weekend ended without an agreement to raise production, despite the U.S. president’s calls to lower prices.
Meanwhile, OPEC’s secretary-general warned on Tuesday that the global industry could “fall from one crisis to another” unless OPEC and non-OPEC countries cooperate, as reported by Reuters. Mohammed Barkindo added that global oil demand will increase by 14.5 million barrels a day to a total of 111.7 million barrels in 2040.
On Tuesday, Trump maintained the U.S. commitment to move ahead with sanctions on Iranian oil in November.
The president also called out Germany directly for its reliance on Russian energy, saying unless it “immediately changes course” it will soon be completely reliant. He maintained that the U.S. was ready to export its oil, clean coal and natural gas, while it remains “committed” to maintaining its “independence from the encroachment of expansionist foreign powers.”